June 6, 2022

Light Bird, Shadow Bird, By Jason P. Burnham


Sunny days are my favorite

You’re always full of energy on sunny days.

We fly together, up into the light; I can never keep up

You fly higher, faster than me

So fast I think I’ll lose you among the clouds

Worry you might forget I’m following.

But the worry is a piffling thing

Outmatched by the joy.

I love sunny days.


Cloudy days are harder

Especially when it’s cold and the nights are long

Longer still, like shadows cast by the moon

Gloom and doom whisper together through the deep, powdery snow.

We don’t fly together on cloudy days.

Sometimes you don’t fly at all.

When I come to check on you, you’re in your nest.

No flying, no singing on cloudy days.

I bring you worms, try to shine like the sun myself.

You’re glad of it, but there’s no substitute for the light.


The clouds, the gray, drag at my soul

Drag it back to earth, ground it

Where I know yours is.

But the cloudy days don’t bother me so much

Even when I can’t help you sing or fly

Because I know another sunny day will come

And you’ll fly higher and faster than I ever can.

The bliss you have, flying among golden rays

Sunny days are my favorite.

Jason P. Burnham is an infectious diseases physician and clinical researcher. He loves many things, among them sci-fi, his wife, sons,  and dog, metal music, Rancho Gordo beans, and equality (not necessarily in that order).

Cover: Amanda Bergloff

Twitter @AmandaBergloff

Instagram: amandabergloff 

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